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45. Understanding the SQE Format: What to Expect on Exam Day

Understanding the SQE Format: What to Expect on Exam Day

As the new Solicitors Qualifying Exam (SQE) prepares to replace the current Qualified Lawyers Transfer Scheme (QLTS), aspiring solicitors need to familiarize themselves with the SQE format to adequately prepare for exam day. In this article, we will provide an overview of what to expect during the SQE exam, including its structure, content, and timing.

The Structure of the SQE Exam

The SQE is divided into two stages: SQE1 and SQE2. SQE1 tests candidates on their functioning legal knowledge, while SQE2 focuses on practical legal skills. Both stages are designed to assess candidates’ competence to practice as a solicitor in England and Wales.

Related Article: SQE 1 Preparation Courses


SQE1 consists of two parts: Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs) and Written Skills Assessment (WSA).

The MCQ section evaluates candidates’ understanding of the law, legal principles, and procedural rules. It includes both standalone questions and questions based on real-life scenarios.

The WSA section assesses candidates’ written communication skills, requiring them to analyze legal scenarios and provide appropriate written responses.

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SQE2 consists of practical assessments that simulate real-life legal scenarios. It focuses on the skills required for day-to-day legal practice, such as interviewing clients, drafting legal documents, and advocacy.

To prepare for SQE2, candidates are advised to take part in training courses that provide practice and guidance on these practical skills. These courses will help candidates understand the expectations and benchmarks set by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) for the SQE2 exam.

Related Article: SQE 2 Preparation Courses

The Content of the SQE Exam

The content of the SQE exam is based on the SRA’s Statement of Solicitor Competence, which outlines the key skills, knowledge, and attributes required of solicitors in England and Wales.

The topics covered in the SQE exam include, but are not limited to:

  • Contract Law
  • Tort Law
  • Property Law
  • Criminal Law
  • Constitutional and Administrative Law
  • Corporate and Business Law
  • Wills and Administration of Estates
  • Professional Conduct and Ethics

It is essential for candidates to thoroughly study and understand these areas of law to perform well in the exam.

Timing and Format

The SQE exams are set to be administered remotely, allowing candidates to sit for the exams at their own convenience, within a specified timeframe.

The exact timing for each stage of the SQE exam is not yet confirmed. However, it is expected that SQE1 will consist of two parts, with the MCQ section being time-limited and the WSA section requiring candidates to complete written assignments within a set time frame.

Candidates should keep an eye on the SRA’s website for the most up-to-date information on exam dates, timings, and format.

Related Article: SRA SQE Exam Dates


By understanding the format of the SQE exam and knowing what to expect on exam day, aspiring solicitors can better prepare themselves for success. Thoroughly studying the relevant areas of law, practicing with SQE-specific resources, and seeking guidance from professional training courses will all contribute to a strong performance in the exam.

Are you preparing for the SQE exam? We offer comprehensive SQE 1 and SQE 2 preparation courses that will equip you with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in the exam. Contact us today to learn more!